First defeat for Ertugral
Free State - Muhsin Ertugral suffered his first defeat as Golden Arrows coach as his side went down 3-1 away to Free State Stars on Saturday afternoon.
Ea Lla Koto surged into a three-goal lead at Goble Park thanks to goals from Kennedy Mweene, Mzikayise Mashaba and Katlego Mashego – it is the first time this season they have managed more than one goal in a match.
Siyabonga Nkosi handed Abafana Bes’thende a lifeline with a cleverly-taken goal from a free kick, but it proved a mere consolation as the home side held out in the last 20 minutes to secure the three points.
The goalkeepers dominated the first half, as Arrows’ Helton Da Rocha and his counterpart at Stars, Kennedy Mweene, pulled off several excellent saves each. It seemed as if the game would be goalless at the break, but a hand-ball in injury time from Musa Bilankulu gave the hosts a penalty – Mweene converted the spot kick to leave his side 1-0 up at half time.
Within 12 minutes of the second half, Stars had extended their lead to 3-0 thanks to goals from midfielders Mzikayise Mashaba and Katlego Mashego in the 49th and 57th minutes respectively. Arrows’ defence struggled to deal with the home side’s ability to transition from defence to attack at impressive speed.
But the Durban team did give themselves some hope of a comeback when Siyabonga Nkosi scored direct from a free kick in the 69th minute, craftily placing his shot into the back of the net while Mweene was trying to organise his defensive wall. Stars protested the goal but they were simply caught out by Nkosi’s quick thinking.
Arrows came close to further reducing the deficit with a header from Thamsanqa Gabuza that hit the crossbar and a long range effort from Philani Shange that was well saved by Kennedy Mweene, but Stars were able to hold out for a 3-1 win.